A London dozen books: Rewind 40 years ago, and the messiness of Munich


The book: “Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror and Triumph at the Olympic Games”

The author: David Clay Large

The publishing info: Rowman & Littlefield, $29.95, 372 pages

Find it: At Powells or Barnes & Noble

The background: Large is a professor of history at Montana State, author of several history books including “Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936.” He draws on new sources to look back at the moment best remembered as the site where Israeli Olympians were abducted by Palestine terrorists and a botched rescue mission led to tragedy.

You really want to relive all this again? Only if there’s better perspective.

Page 246: “Not surprisingly, America’s Olga Connolly, the feisty political activist who had smuggled peace buttons into the Olympic Village, was appalled by the decision to play on (after the 11 deaths). In the wake of (IOC President Avery) Brundage’s announcement, she declared, ‘It seems incredible that after the terrible tragedy of the past few days, in which our brothers, 11 Olympic athletes, were killed, we are kept at the level of playing Ping-Pong.’

“For Connolly, Brundage’s ‘Games Must Go On’ dictum was just one more demonstration of the moral and political bankruptcy of the Olympic momentum. “Olympic officials speak the words of brotherhood and peace, but this I only political mouthwash,” she complained. ‘When you see it from the inside, you are disgusted to see that the Games, a kind of Circus Maximus, are not conducted for anything else but commercialism, medal counts and political profit.’ “

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